When Liz Forelle was studying environmental science at Skidmore College she found it hard to explain her capstone project on soil science to her non-science- major friends.
“I told them it’s really not that hard, it’s just soil — really just a bunch of dirt,” Forelle said. “But a lot of times when people hear the word ‘science,’ they get freaked out.”
Forelle shared her frustrations with one of her art professors. She wanted to figure out a way to explain her science through art, but she wanted to bridge the disciplines in a more meaningful way than simply painting a beautiful landscape.
“I want to move people in a way where they start to care about the environment,” she said.
Forelle’s art teacher turned her on to an art movement that uses scientific data as inspiration. Her debut show, “Fragility in a Changing Climate,” which opens this week at the Center for the Arts, follows that tradition.
For her show Forelle drew upon snowpack, glacier, temperature, wildlife collisions and park visitor data from the Greater Yellowstone Region and combined it with topographic maps, sketches and photography to create a wide range of mixed-media pieces.
The Center for the Arts is hosting an opening reception for Forelle, who will be traveling from Bend, Oregon, for the show, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday.
An event put on by Off Square Theatre Company this week is also harnessing the power of art — in this instance theater — to speak on the topic of conservation.
On Thursday Off Square will host a performance of the Climate Change Theatre Action Project. The international project enlisted playwrights from all over the world to write short climate change plays that have been performed at theaters in over 50 countries.
A cast of community members will read the plays, including Macker, Emily Cohen, Pete Muldoon, Kim Springer, Adrian Croke, Bob Berky and Mari Allan Hanna.
The play readings will begin at 6 p.m. Attendees will have the chance afterward to see a sneak peek of Forelle’s exhibit.
“These shows are examples of the role that arts and culture can play in presenting perspectives that may be needed to really address these issues for future generations,” Macker said. ￼